Nathan’s Isolation Blog

Introduction

Hey everyone I hope everyone is keeping well during this difficult time. This situation we are in is nothing like we’ve experienced before, but the most important thing to remember is that we are all in this together and regardless of how long this lasts for, it WILL pass eventually and we will all be able to go back to our normal lives.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts, explain how I’m using my time during quarantine and show what I have been doing to keep myself mentally and physically healthy. If you are reading this I hope that you will be able to take something positive from this whether it be ideas to implement into your days or make you aware that you are not in this alone as this can be a lonely time for most people (being single I know, trust me😭😂). Also I understand that everyone’s circumstances are different and what I am about to share may not apply to everyone but here it goes. 

Background 

I think the best way to start is to give a little background about myself so you can truly understand how this scenario has effected me. For those who don’t know me I run the Cryotherapy clinic at Kinetics. Aside from my therapy work I have side hustles coaching for Sheffield Wednesday F.C. (I think this is where a lot of Blades close the page 😂) and model part time. Additionally I regularly use the gym for resistance training and Muay Thai to keep myself fit. 

I’ve been dubbed by colleagues, friends and family as a workaholic often doing crazy hours, taking work home and commuting from one job to another. It’s fair to say I have a really busy schedule to a point whereby I have a constant need to be doing something and can’t sit still even on my days off. So when the virus hit and the lockdown was announced you can imagine how difficult it was for me to transition from constantly being busy to doing absolutely nothing.

Preparation

As a small business owner and being self employed leading up to the lockdown was the hardest. Despite all the precautions and safety measures we took to stay open, we were in a constant battle of whether to continue to work or close. On one hand we stay open which puts ourselves and everyone at risk and on the other we close and put everything we had built over the last 3 years at financial risk, both options were lose lose. Additionally without government confirmation the decision was even harder to make because we didn’t have any assurance of security and didn’t know where we stood. I won’t go into it but the 1st 2 years were a struggle for us and we had finally stated to turn Cryotherapy UK into a success. Towards the back end of last year and the start of 2020 we started to gather some serious momentum and the best since we had started so it was a hard pill to swallow when it all came to a halt and hurt a lot to put it all on hold.

We had mixed reviews from our everyone too. One group wanted us to continue to provide a service the other condemned us for staying open. However, you must take into consideration what impact that would have on every member of the clinic if we were to close without no clarity on the situation. This even caused divide and mixed opinions amongst us as well as views would change, not daily but hourly as new updates were constantly coming though. We were all questioning “Is it serious or are we overreacting? Are we doing too much or are we not doing enough? Are we being overly cautious are we being under cautious?” 3 words to best describe the clinic in the final weeks confusion, panic and stressful.

So when government made the announcement to go into complete lockdown, despite the difficulties this would bring, a massive weight was lifted off our shoulders which was a huge relief. Obviously there would be a huge loss of income which meant a lot of expenses wouldn’t get paid but at least now there was clarity that there would be some sort of support for us to stay afloat.

One thing I have learnt as I get older is to not worry and stress over things you can’t control and also to prepare yourself mentally for what for is to come. Things hurts less when you expect it so I started using self talk (a psychological strategy which helps with stress and anxiety) telling myself, “this is the situation, this is what’s going to happen and this is how you’re going to deal with it.” I came to terms with things pretty quickly and before lockdown was made official which made things easier. I think the most important part was the last bit, “how are you going to deal with it?” I think the best way of dealing with problems and bad situations is addressing it and coming up with a strategy to deal with it. Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution and don’t think of more problems which will cripple your solutions.

Work

The first week I decided that I wasn’t going to do anything work or business related. As I said previously my life was overrun by work so I decided to take a week off to chill and do other things whilst I brainstormed ideas. I knew I was going to lose a lot of income due to this but I asked myself “how can I come out of this stronger than when I went in?” The 1st thing I decided to do was clear out my room, I was in the midst of rearranging my room anyways and there’s nothing like a clear out to help you get in the mood for productivity. As I was clearing it I thought of ways to develop my business. As we’re in the Information age I thought I need to be able to develop my business online so I can continue to work through this and if something similar was to happen again I would be covered. 

As a therapist it’s difficult to earn without being present so you can imagine how hard it was to come up with ideas, but instead of seeing it as a obstacle I saw it as a challenge. It had always been a desire of mine to get some clothing and merchandise but the logo we have at the minute is a bit boring on its own and wouldn’t look appealing on products. So I decided to design a more vibrant logo to go with the one we currently have. I’m still in the process of playing with designs but hoping to have it finished by the time this is all over. Another idea was to develop a system and consult with clients online. There’s a few skills I believe I need to sharpen up to make me feel more confident and competent doing this, because my expertise are very hands on, but I have been trialling this with existing clients and I strongly believe this is something I will be able to offer in the future. Lastly I wanted to improve my advertising and marketing skills. I had previously purchased a social media marketing course which due to my busy schedule I didn’t have time to go through but this pandemic has allowed me to work through that. 

Once I got started, this then inspired me to write out my goals for where I want to be as a therapist, coach, model, business and personal development and then devised a strategy on how I would achieve each. One good tip I was taught when doing this is to write out the biggest and craziest dream you want to achieve. Once you’ve done that and you know what you want cross it out because chances are it’s too small and write out a goal bigger and crazier than that. Always dream big and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. The possibility are endless to what you can achieve but make sure you have a plan on how to get there.

Family

So that’s work, the next thing I want to talk about is family.  I have an amazing family and I feel fortunate to be in lockdown with them. There’s 6 of us in our household (2 of which are key workers) and I’m currently quarantining with my parents Paul and Veloria, 2 older brothers Chris and Dan and Dan’s girlfriend Katey. We are highly family orientated and although we have each other the hardest part is not being able to see those family members who aren’t in our household who we are very close with. To put it into perspective it’s a tradition in my family that we have dinner at my Nan’s every Sunday without fail. Also my other Nan is stuck in Florida and is unable to get back to the UK. Additionally, Monday is the day we pick up my nieces and nephews from school and they stay at ours until the end of the day, so not being able to see them has been horrible. To cope with this we ensure we FaceTime and video call regularly and we have also set up group chats with extended family members to have regular contact. I have seen grandparents, nieces and nephews on occasions (social distancing rules of course), but it’s really not the same 😭😔. We’re coping, staying strong and keeping each other sane but can’t wait for this to all be over so we can see each other properly again. 

Anyways now the depressing bit is out the way let’s shift our focus to something good as I am loving the time I’m getting to spend with the family members in my household. We’ve been spending more time together than ever having regular movie nights, takeaway nights and playing board games (chess, monopoly and guess who to name a few). We’re making the most of this time together because usually due to the time we finish work we don’t get to see each other so it has been good to reconnect as a family and do things together we haven’t done in a while.

On a side note although I have my loving family around me it’s still hard being single during this time. It’s great being with your family but it’s a different kind of love and affection which you receive from them, so even though we have a full house it often feels lonely at times. I can’t imagine what it is like for those who are alone during all this. Those who are in relationships should cherish the time you have with your partner and appreciate what you have.

Personal

The final thing I wanted to share were my plans for personal development with the aim of improving my physical and mental well being. I am very active and before lockdown I was training around 3 times a week so when the gyms closed I had to come up with a new way to keep myself fit. To solve this I decided to pull out my old “Insanity” DVD to workout from home and follow the 60 day program, which I do every morning after breakfast to start my day. Before lockdown I had been doing a lot of resistance training so I was putting on size but I wanted to improve my cardiovascular (cardio) fitness and get more ripped, so this program was a perfect opportunity to achieve both goals. This program was the right fit for my training goals and level of fitness, there are a lot of programs out there so find one that suits you.

Over the past few years reading has become one of my favourite past times in particular self-help books. I actually set myself a goal this year to read more books than I did last year which was 6 (more than I have ever read in my life by the way) and set myself a target of reading a book a month to achieve this. I am currently on track for this as I have read 4 out of 4 this year and I am hopefully close to finishing my 5th by the end of the month. Lockdown has made it easier to hit this target. Since lockdown I have read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and I’m halfway through the 3rd book in the Rich Dad Poor Dad Series “Guide to Investing.” There’s something I find uplifting with reading which automatically puts me in a good mood. I’ve also realised that the things they don’t teach you in schools about life that we all want to know and should know are found in books. It’s all about finding the right book for you.

I’ve also been improving my cooking skills. I’ve always wanted to be learn and get better at cooking with vegetables. Luckily Katey is vegan and has been showing me how to cook vegetarian dishes making me more creative in the kitchen. The plan isn’t for me to become vegan or vegetarian and I can cook to an extent however I’d often get stuck for ideas on what to cook for lunch. I’d end up opting for super noodles or cheese on toast during the day before preparing something meat based and heavier in the evening. So this has broadened my horizons on what to cook and has shown me how to make an alternative meals where I can choose to add in the meat, but also given me an option to make nutritious meals if there is no meat on hand. Additionally, If there is no meat on hand I’d prefer to eat a vegetarian dish rather than snacking on junk so this has been a massive help for me.

Entertainment

It’s not been all work and no play. I’m an avid gamer and I bought a brand new game “The Division 2” to play before quarantine started and this is what I have been doing as a way to have some downtime whilst taking a break from everything else. I’ve also  downloaded “The Sims 4” which has kept me occupied. Additionally I have a long list of series that I haven’t started yet and need to finish which I now have time to do. I’m currently at the end of the 1st season of “Power,” need to catch up on “The Walking Dead” and still have “Peaky Blinders” and “Topboy” to watch. I’ve also been listening to podcast for motivation, my favourite is Eric Thomas’ “The Secret 2 Success” podcast and listening to a podcast by a good friend of mine Joe Patterson “Passion to Progress.” Another guilty pleasure of mine is wrestling and WWE. Since starting Cryotherapy UK I’ve restricted myself from games and watching as much as I used to to keep myself more productive. Now I have given myself more time and allowed myself to watch whole episodes which I wasn’t able to do before. 

I believe down time is equally as important as the productivity as treating yourself can help increase output and put you in the right frame of mind. Work hard, play harder!

Conclusion 

I have a variety of things to occupy my time at the minute so no 2 days have been the same. Some days I wake up really early and I’m productive throughout the day and some days I’m in bed until the afternoon, lounge around all day and do nothing. Either is OK you just have to find the right fit for you. The key to life is balance.

Over time I have come to realise the most valuable assets is time not money and despite all the misfortunes of this pandemic this is what it has blessed us all with. How many times have we wished for more time to do something or a longer weekend? This is the long weekend we have been waiting for, don’t waste it and use it effectively. I hope if you are reading this you are able to take something from it and apply it to your own life. Like I said everyone is different and what works for me may not work for everyone and I’m not saying this is how everyone should live their lives. This is just me sharing a glimpse into my life and if it helps someone in the slightest way possible, then I am happy.

Thanks for reading,

Nathan

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